I love finding a book I don’t want to put down. There are other books that are on more time-sensitive deadlines, but Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan kept getting more time over the past week. I started it on Monday and despite only have two good days to read capping my workweek, I flew through the book pretty quickly.
The book is placed in a relatively standard high fantasy realm. We have Rhunes, who regular humans, and we have Fhrey, who are something akin to elves in other series; they live for millennia and have more speed and strength than men. And then there’s a special type of Fhrey who can do magic, calling it the Art. Rhunes live in subjugation to the Fhrey, believing them to be gods.
The push in the books comes from one of the Rhunes killing a Fhrey, a feat thought to be impossible to Rhunes.
By and large, you have a pretty standard high fantasy series. Regular person thrust into extraordinary situation and forced to save the day. Where this one gets interesting is where it allows the fantasy elements to exist while also poking holes in the mystical beliefs some of the characters have. Over and over, you see the same types of superstitions that used to exist throughout the world, and you seen the more learned individuals looking down on the superstitious. What makes it funny is that the world has magic in it, and one of the characters looked down upon is one of the most magical.
The Fhrey view the Rhunes as savages, not much more than animals. It’s not terribly unlike Europeans running into native populations across the world and declaring them backward. This is how heck breaks loose. Don’t underestimate someone who has a pointy sword.
Raithe is our god killer. He can be thought of as our everyman thrown into an extraordinary situation, though he’s not the leader of the story. That would be Persephone the chieftain’s wife who deals with idiots. Then we have our mystic Suri, who was abandoned as a child and raised by the elder mystic. Pretty much everyone is an idiot compared to Suri, except her wolf Minna. Arion, one of the Fhrey who practices the art, is our other POV character. She’s an idealist, which is a dangerous thing to be in the beginning of a book series.
We get a couple of other characters’ POV snippets, but by and large, those four are our eyes for the book. The two most straightforward are Raithe and Suri, though they’re the ones who take action. Arion and Persephone are the thinkers who for the most part just talk and think, though what they do will probably have the longest-lasting impacts on the series.
Another interesting thing in the books was seeing plot points get rolling for the rest of the series. There’s a lot of scheming going on, with two of the schemes reaching their conclusion, while at least two more are set in motion with no clear end goal. This will be the thing that leads to the next paragraph.
Time for a quick gripe. One of the things the author notes at the beginning is that the entire series has already been drafted, just his way of working. And yet the books aren’t going to show up at anything faster of a pace than one per year if the sequel is any indication. This annoys me. I realize there’s a toxic culture of fandom demanding things of authors, but I feel like if the books are already drafted and all that’s needed are edits, we can bump the pace up to every six months. I’m just sayin’, yo. I guess we’ll catch up with Raithe, Persephone, Arion, and Suri next year. Maybe I can read his other two series set in that universe.
All in all, I’d say the series is worth the read. It was five stars in my review. If you’re not a high fantasy person, this might not be for you, but I’m sticking with it. I liked how the big plot was told, and I want to know what the hell’s going on with the overarching plots for the series, including one character who flummoxed a wise, powerful character and was disdained by a foolish, powerful character.
But until next time, peeps.